Finally I am in India at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after a very long flight. It is a relief to find that the roll of paintings brought as checked luggage has also arrived in Kolkata.
This trip and exhibition would not have been possible without a generous grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Fund for Visual Art. I am grateful for this exciting opportunity to have a solo show of my artwork abroad!
I came a few days early to approve the brochure design. It is more elaborate than I had imagined and will be printed on beautiful paper.
Now to get the work ready. Thirty pieces need to be framed...
The roll of paintings is unwrapped at the Anjan Art Framing workshop. Stretchers must be constructed and sixteen large canvases stretched before they can be framed.
Fourteen drawings will be matted and framed under glass at this table. Anjan, Ayan Mukherjee and their crew have a week to complete all this work. As we discuss framing style options, they seem experienced and knowledgable. I leave them with some archival quality mounting tape and the directions that they may not under any circumstances cut or glue down any of the work. Now I must trust that they will be careful, and do no irreversible harm to the paintings and drawings.
I enjoy the warmth on a sunny January morning the day of the opening reception as I wait for the doors of the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata to open.
Three hours before the inaugural ceremony, the gallery walls are still bare. YIKES. The gallery staff assure me that this is the way they always hang shows and that everything will get done.
The framed paintings are delivered to the gallery just in time...
Rapidly the paintings are shuffled around the room, arranged and rearranged. Finally the spacing, and placement looks right.
Can all these pieces be hung and the lighting adjusted before the doors open? I really hope so. My job is done. Now it is time to let the gallery staff go to work...
As the paintings go up, the sound crew delivers and installs the stage and speakers for the musical recital that will follow the inauguration ceremony.
Suddenly a brass lamp appears in the center of the gallery surrounded by a ring of flowers and flower petals. How exciting - I've never had one of these! It is beautiful, but I suddenly feel anxious because I'm not exactly sure what I am suppose to do with this during the ceremony...
The members of Bihaan Music and Sunam Communcations, who have organized this exhibition, take a moment to pose before the doors open.
The guest book is ready.
I'm ready too!
The next post will feature photos of the opening reception and exhibition.